Workplaces in Washington, DC are subject to many employment laws.
Recently, the DC legislature made changes to laws regarding non-compete agreements, the DC Human Rights Act, cannabis-use for employees, and transportation benefits.
In advance of the new year, Lipp Law shares these important updates for employers to evaluate their businesses to ensure legal compliance, and for DC employees to know their legal rights.
Are Non-Competition Agreements Banned in DC?
Yes, starting October 1, 2022, DC employers have been significantly limited from entering into non-competition agreements and imposing non-competition policies for employees who make $150,000.00 or less annually (or $250,000.00 or less annually for medical specialist employees). The annual compensation amount for those employees exempt from the ban will be adjusted on January 1, 2024, and each calendar year thereafter. DC’s non-competition ban is not retroactive, and so, non-competition agreements predating October 1, 2022, remain enforceable.
What are the Most Recent Updates to DC’s Human Rights Act?
The DC Human Rights Act (DCHRA) prohibits discrimination based on inclusion in 18 different protected classes in the workplace by a DC-based employer, regardless of the number of employees.
Federal anti-discrimination laws, on the other hand, generally apply to employers with 15+ employees, and protect employees from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and/or disability. For the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which protects employees ages 40+, an employer must have 20+ employees for the ADEA to apply.
For the past year, the following expanded employment law protections have been in place in DC.
Are there Employment Protections for Cannabis Users in DC?
Yes. Soon, DC employers will not be able to terminate, refuse to hire, or otherwise adversely affect a cannabis user’s employment for recreationally using or positively testing for marijuana, under the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022. Employers, however, are not in violation of the law by taking adverse action against an employee if:
This law takes effect once it is included in an approved budget. In the meantime, DC employers can evaluate which positions would be covered and whether drug testing policies will comply with this law.
Must DC Employers Provide Transportation Benefits?
Yes, employers with 20+ covered employees that offer free or subsidized parking for employees must comply with DC’s Parking Cashout Law by:
Starting January 15, 2023, and every other year thereafter, DC employers with 20+ covered employees are required to submit reports to the District Department of Transportation, regardless of whether they offer parking benefits to employees, to demonstrate whether they are compliant with or exempt from the DC Parking Cashout Law. “Covered employees” are those who work in the District for at least 50% of their working time.
If you are a DC employer or a DC employee needing assistance with DC employment law issues, Lipp Law can help. Contact Lipp Law today to ensure legal compliance with DC employment laws.
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